- Availability Charge: The availability charge is a fixed monthly amount assessed to each meter that calculates a portion of the costs associated with delivering power. This charge helps purchase necessary infrastructure like poles, wires, and transformers, and employee labor to keep electricity "available" and flowing from the substation to your homes and businesses.
- Energy Charge: The energy charge on your bill is currently $0.1016 per kilowatt-hour. Like the availability charge, $0.0416 per kWh of the energy charge is calculated to cover the remaining costs to energize the power lines. Because we have used $0.0416 per kWh out of our $0.1016 energy charge, we have $0.06 left, which is an estimated amount. The price of electricity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas market changes every 15 minutes, so when CECA developed our rates in 2017, there was no way to know exactly what electricity would cost in the future. The $0.06 per kWh was our best estimate for this future power cost.
- Power Cost Recovery Factor (PCRF): The PCRF is a mechanism that trues up the actual monthly cost for the electricity that we purchase and deliver to our members against the $0.06 per kWh that we estimated that electricity would cost when the rates were developed.
High bills are affected by two factors, those being electric usage and rates; both were significantly higher in the March billing cycle.
- Usage: CECA bills for actual service used, which means electric bills issued in March will be from January 20th to February 20th, the heart of a Texas winter. This billing period, in particular, is no exception and is actually below average, with 23 days of temperatures in the 30s or lower.
- Rates: CECA, along with other power providers, experienced historically high prices of energy out of the ERCOT market. At CECA, members are passed through these costs using our PCRF, and this has driven all-in rates from $0.116 kWh in January 2021 to $0.14 kWh in March 2023.
- Usage: Currently in March, CECA and its members are experiencing much milder temperatures. This will lead to lower electric consumption as less heating is needed. Most members can expect lower kWh usage because of this.
- Rates: CECA began a new Power Supply Plan on March 1, 2023. Our belief is that this will not only lower the PCRF amount but hold it down for months to come.
These two factors, kWh usage and the kWh rate, are improving and will help lower bills moving forward for our members.
Yes, CECA offers many options that can assist you with your electric bill.
- Budget Billing: You can sign up for budget billing to ensure that you will pay a set price every month to keep you from encountering higher-than-expected bills every month.
- Payment Plan: If you have a high bill and cannot pay the bill outright that month, our customer representatives will put you on a payment plan to ensure that you are able to pay that high bill.
- Financial Assistance: CECA has links to several agencies that offer financial assistance for utility bills.
Yes, you can! CECA offers two options for you to keep an eye on your electricity usage. We encourage you to sign up for Energy Alerts; this program sends your usage data to your phone via text or email. In addition to energy alerts, you can use the CECA app or website to look at your usage graph. These tools keep you connected at all times and can help you avoid a large unexpected bill.
To opt into Energy Alerts and/or create an online account, please give our trusted customer service representatives a call at 800-915-2533.